Mountfield Hradec Kralove def. Farjestad Karlstad 7-6 OT (3-4, 3-2, 1-0)This two-game set went back and forth and in the end, Hradec Kralove came out on top. Last week, the Czech team had a 3-1 lead in Karlstad but surrendered three straight goals to fall behind. But they made up for that in the return game at home, scoring three times in the first 30 minutes to regain their two-goal aggregate lead. Once again, Farjestad battled back with a couple of goals to send it to overtime but there, Lukas Cingel scored his second goal of the night, sending a long wrist shot off the far post and in.
EV Zug def. Red Bull Munich 10-2 (5-1, 5-1)The only game played on Wednesday was also the one with the least amount of drama. After dropping a 5-1 decision on home ice last week, Munich had a tall mountain to climb but Zug took nothing to chance in the return game, winning 5-1 again.
“I think we played a really solid game in Munich last week and, of course, it was important for us to get the first goal tonight. Mentally, it deflated them a little bit,” said Zug head coach Dan Tangnes. “Two good games from our team and I’m really proud that we’re through to the quarter-finals but we’re not satisfied … we’re hungry for more.”
Looking ahead to Hradec Kralove in the quarter-finals, Tangnes said: “An impressive run so far. Two good games against Farjestad and I think they beat Frolunda in the group stage. We played them in the quarter-finals two years ago (and they beat us), so it’s going to be two more tough games. There are only tough teams left so we need a benchmark performance.”
Rogle Angelholm def. Red Bull Salzburg 6-4 (1-3, 5-1)Salzburg took full advantage of home ice by winning the first game 3-1, but nobody thought this one was over and it wasn’t. Europe’s reigning club champion, Rogle scored four straight goals to take the lead on aggregate by the return game’s midpoint. Thomas Raffl got one back for the Austrian champ late in the second period but Ludvig Larsson’s second of the game early in the third put it away. Larsson had three points in the game, while Marco Kasper and Oskar Stal Lyrenas each had two.
Tappara Tampere def. HC Davos 3-2 (1-0, 2-2)After Tappara won 1-0 in Davos with a strong defensive effort, Davos came out stronger in the return game but was continually frustrated until Enzo Corvi finally broke through to tie the aggregate score late in the second period. Early in the third, Tappara struck twice in a 24-second span to seemingly take control but Corvi scored again on a shorthanded breakaway to make for an interesting finish. That’s as close as the Swiss visitors came, however.
“I think we played a good game,” said Corvi, whose team outshot Tappara 38-23 in the return game. “For the first two periods we were the better team but then we conceded two unlucky goals to lose (on aggregate).”
Over two games, Christian Heljanko stopped 56 of 58 shots to improve his already stellar CHL numbers.
“It's hard to create chances when the game is so tight in the middle of the ice. Davos is a really good team,” said Tappara defenceman Maksim Matushkin. “The entire series was tight; both teams were really going for it.”
The Tappara win sets up a rematch against Rogle from last year’s final.
Jukurit Mikkeli def. Fribourg-Gotteron 3-2 OT (1-1, 1-1, 1-0)Jukurit and Fribourg skated to 1-1 draws in each rink, becoming the second round of 16 matchup that needed overtime. In this game on home ice, Fribourg outshot Jukurit 34-22 but only beat Frans Tuohimaa once, as Patrik Puistola and Nathan Marchon traded goals 4:17 apart in the second period. Jarkko Immonen was the overtime hero, converting a pass from Puistola on a 2-on-1 after goaltender Tuohimaa started the play with a long pass.
On Jukurit’s quarter-final opponent, Jokinen said: “We played against Lulea twice in the group stage and now of course we’ll be scouting them more. We lost both games to them, so we have our work cut out for us.”
Lulea Hockey def. Grizzlys Wolfsburg 5-3 (3-2, 2-1)After a narrow 3-2 loss on home ice last week, the Grizzlys were underdogs as they went to northern Sweden and ultimately lost, but gave it a great battle. The game was tied 1-1 through 40 minutes as Tyler Morley and Konstantin Komarek traded goals. That score remained until late when, needing a goal due to the aggregate deficit, Wolfsburg’s Dustin Strahlmeier was pulled for an extra-attacker, resulting in a rare empty-net, short-handed, game-winning goal for Oscar Engsund at 59:59.
Skelleftea AIK def. ZSC Lions Zurich 9-5 (5-4, 4-1)After a goalfest in the first game in northern Sweden, Skelleftea and Zurich played a conservative first period in the Swiss capital but the offence broke out in a second period that saw four goals, all on the power play. The three goals by Skelleftea – all assisted by Max Lindholm – meant a three-goal aggregate lead that ultimately became four.
“We executed on the power play very well and also on the PK,” said Skelleftea head coach Robert Ohlsson. He said about the third period: “I think we shut them down and took away a lot of good ice for them and that was key. We played a solid away game and I’m happy with the result.”
Lindholm now ranks third in the CHL in assists after Frolunda Gothenburg’s Ryan Lasch with 13 and Zug’s Brian O’Neill with 10.
Frolunda Gothenburg def. Straubing Tigers 7-2 (4-0, 3-2)Speaking of Lasch, the CHL’s all-time scoring leader opened the scoring in Straubing and assisted on Patrik Carlsson’s game-tying goal in the second period. Because of Frolunda’s 4-0 victory in the first game, the Tigers pulled their goalie when they got a power play with over five minutes to play, and a pass back to the point that went all the way into the empty Straubing net meant that goaltender Frederik Dichow – the last Frolunda player to touch the puck – was credited with the game-winning goal.
“We put everything out there,” said Straubing head coach Tom Pokel. “It was a really good game and a great atmosphere here with our fans, playing a world-class team like Frolunda. They’re a really smart team and we learned a lot from this. We wanted to put as much pressure on them as possible and try to take something out of it. We wanted to leave a footprint on the international scene, in the Champions Hockey League, and I think we did that.”
- EV Zug (SUI) vs Mountfield Hradec Kralove (CZE)
- Rogle Angelholm (SWE) vs Tappara Tampere (FIN)
- Lulea Hockey (SWE) vs Jukurit Mikkeli (FIN)
- Frolunda Gothenburg (SWE) vs Skelleftea AIK (SWE)
The quarter-finals will be played in two legs 6-7 and 13 December. Like the round of 16, the winner of the two games on aggregate score will advance. The semi-finals will also be played in two legs in January, while the final will be a single game to be played on Saturday, 18 February. For more information visit >www.championshockeyleague.com